Panel of Inquiry Will Begin Investigating Israeli-Turkish Incident
The Turkish vessel Mavri Marmari was boarded by the Israeli army while transporting humanitarian help to the province of Gaza, closed by Israel as a result of the coming to power of Islamist movement Hamas in 2007.
Netanyahu maintained that Israel was right in imposing a blockade on the waters near Gaza because there was no humanitarian crisis in Gaza since basic products enter the Palestinian territories through the land-based points. Israel, the PM says, still allows the humanitarian aids to come in Gaza, in spite of the “war crimes” committed by the Hamas militants since they took power. Hamas doesn’t recognize the right of the Jewish state to exist.
In June, when an inquiry was announced on the theme, Netanyahu admitted that it was the policy of Israel to allow humanitarian aid in Gaza, but that the smuggling of weapons cannot be allowed, especially since the ruling force in Gaza is Hamas.
Tony Blair, the representative to the Middle East of a Quartet composed of United States of America, European Union, Russian Federation and United Nations, expressed his appreciation for those declarations made by the Israeli PM.
Obama administration also expressed its hope that a very serious inquiry will be conducted and that its results would be presented to the international community.
About two weeks ago, British PM David Cameron promised the Turkish authorities in Ankara that a very serious international investigation will le launch to get to the bottom of what happened to the Turks on Mavri Marmara on May 31.
Secretary-General of United Nation Organization, Ban ki-moon, announced that the UN will launch their own investigation. Ban Ki-moon said that he had extensive consultations with the Israeli and Turkish delegates, and that it was agreed that an international investigation be conducted to elucidate what happened and who is responsible for it.
The panel will be led by Geoffrey Palmer, former PM of New Zealand, and will have as vice-chair Alvaro Uribe, the ex-President of Colombia. The panel will also have a member of each of the two countries involved in the incident. The panel will issue its first conclusion about the middle of September. It is hoped that the clarification of these issues will lead to a restoration of the relation between Israel and Turkey.
Turkish government had accused in June the reluctance of Israel to allow an international inquiry, stating that the attitude of the Israelis show their guilt. “Nobody has a right to kill our citizens,” Turkish foreign minister has stressed out.
The incident on Mavri Marmara has frozen the previous warm relations between Israel and Turkey. The Turk lay state was a warranty for the Jewish state that it had a powerful ally in the Islamic world. Besides, since Turkey is a neighbor of Iran, its position is paramount in view of a possible coordinated strike against Iranian nuclear capacities.11